Leinster club football finals: Coffey’s late score earns Sarsfields a replay in Kildare
Newtown Blues complete three-in-a-row in Louth
Moorefield’s Mark McDermott scores a goal in the Kildare SFC Final against Sarsfields at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Moorefield 2-9 Sarsfields 0-15
Newbridge rivals Moorefield and Sarsfields will have to meet again next Sunday after Barry Coffey’s wonder score with the last kick of the game in the fifth minute of injury time earned Sarsfields a draw after a pulsating encounter.
Davy Burke’s team would surely have taken that after 10 minutes of the game after early goals from Mark McDermott and Éanna O’Connor gave the three-in-a-row chasing Moorefield a 2-3 to 0-3 lead.
Sarsfields responded well to that early setback and scored the next two points of the game through dead balls from Ray Cahill and Ben McCormack.
Moorefield’s Liam Callaghan wandered forward to kick a rare score in reply in the 18th minute but the reigning champions only kicked one further score in the half as Sarsfields took control.
Coffey, Caoimhín McDonnell, Matt Byrne and Cahill all scored in the closing minutes of the half, and Alan Smith also struck the angle of post and bar, and Moorefield’s lead was down to just two by half-time, 2-5 to 0-9.
Two Cahill points, one from a free, inside the opening 10 minutes of the second half levelled up the scores and then Coffey kicked Sarsfields ahead for the first time since the game’s opening score in the 42nd minute.
Moorefield’s reply was swift and first half substitute Adam Tyrrell fired over an equaliser off his trusty left boot.
Coffey again nudged Sarsfields ahead before Moorefield suffered a huge blow when Ronan Sweeney was forced out of the game with a serious looking knee injury just minutes after coming on.
Despite that, two long-range Éanna O’Connor frees gave them the lead once more.
It was helter-skelter stuff at this stage with referee Niall Colgan playing his part in the thrilling action by allowing the game to flow. Cahill levelled the scoring in the 57th minute from a close-range free but Moorefield were on the cusp of victory when Eddie Heavey set up O’Connor for a go-ahead score with just seconds left of normal time.
There were still five minutes of injury time to be played though. It seemed like Moorefield had done everything right in keeping Sarsfields at bay but Coffey ensured that the two great rivals will have to meet again next week with an incredible score from a tight angle near the right sideline in the last action of the game.
It was a fitting finish to a high-quality game and the draw was probably a fair result considering the huge effort put in by both teams.
MOOREFIELD: I McDonnell; L Callaghan (0-1), L Healy, M Dempsey; K Murnaghan, J Murray, S Healy; A Masterson (0-1), D Whyte; C O’Connor, E Heavey (0-2), A Durney; N Hurley-Lynch, M McDermott (1-0), E O’Connor (1-4, two frees).
SARSFIELDS: P O’Sullvan; S Ryan, S Campbell, T Aspell; C Kavanagh, C McConnell, C McInerney Aspell; M Byrne (0-1), C McDonnell (0-1); C Hartley, B McCormack (0-1, 45), B Coffey (0-5); D McKenna, R Cahill (0-6, three frees), A Smith (0-1).
Subs: D Ryan for McConnell, 18; B McDonnell for McInerney-Aspell, 55; C Costigan for McKenna, 57; Shane Doyle for Cahill, 60.
Referee: N Colgan.
LOUTH SFC FINAL
Newtown Blues 2-9 Naomh Mairtin 1-9
Newtown Blues clinched a rare three-in-row in Louth with a comfortable, but nervy, victory over Naomh Mairtin in Drogheda.
In a repeat of last year’s final, the reigning champs were 11 points up at one stage in the first period, but were hanging on at the end as Sam Mulroy netted in the final minute of additional time and then rattled the side-netting from three yards out seconds later.
But the Blues were worthy winners on their first-half display alone.
Connor finished off a flowing team move and Carolan stroked a penalty past Craig Lynch after Fergal Dononohe was hauled down.
Blues adjourned with a 2-5 to 0-3 lead at the break and Naomh Mairtin couldn’t reduce the gap to less than six throughout the second-half despite enjoying a lot more possession.
Mulroy kept the Naomh Mairtin supporters on the edge of their seats with a goal deep in stoppage time, but couldn’t force a replay when presented with another chance seconds later.
The Blues were worthy winners of a first three-in-row since Cooley Kickhams in 1978. The only other treble was their own four-in-row in the ’60s – a record they now have firmly in the crosshairs.
NEWTOWN BLUES: J Lowney; A Connor (1-1), K Carr, E Carolan (1-0, pen); J Connolly, P Moore, E Carolan; A McDonnell (0-2, one free), J Kermode; C Branigan (0-1) C Downey (0-1, free), R Carr (0-3, one free); C Judge, R Nally (0-1), C Noore.
Subs: D Nally for C Moore (34 mins), I Connor for P Moore (45), H McGinn for C Branigan (48), T Costelloe for C Judge (56), J Kelly for R Nally (56).
NAOMH MAIRTIN: C Lynch; P Berrill, M Fanning, M Whelan; T Sullivan, C Morgan, J Clutterbuck (0-1); W Campbell (0-1), G Mooney; S Campbell, B McQuillan, C Healy; E Callaghan (0-1), JP Rooney, S Mulroy (1-3, two frees, one 45).
Subs: C Whelan (0-3, one free) for S Campbell (13 mins, b/c), Val Leddy for T Sullivan (42), G McQuillan for C Healy (46), F McCullough for W Campbell (60).
Referee: K Brady.